Vincent Raymond Dunne’s whole life and character had prepared him for the Minneapolis truck drivers strikes of 1934. The workers knew Dunne as a good organizer, a man who was fond of the movies, didn’t get drunk, and was honest. They followed his leadership and many of them would be quite willing to die for him. One reason was his physical courage. Dunne has been beaten by the police on picket lines, attacked by armed thugs, thrown into jail, and confined in a stockade under military guard by the governor. More important than physical fearlessness is his moral nerve. He tells workers what he thinks of a situation whether they like it or not. Their strike victories would lead to the organization of over 250,000 workers across the Midwest, making them the most influential strikes in American labor history. This is the story of the organizer of those strikes and their lessons for today.
Howard Petrick spent many afternoons talking to Ray Dunne about his life as a labor leader shortly before his death in 1970.
“A timely show, and it tells an important story about class struggle and the roots of American organized labour. There are plenty of laughs as well.” – Apt 613 (Ottawa)
“Dunne was a fascinating character and Petrick is an expert storyteller.”
– Winnipeg Free Press
“It’s not just the forgotten history that makes V.R. Dunne so engrossing — it’s the urgent, timely message that the man brings.” – Edmonton Journal
“His message—that human solidarity can triumph over greed—is just as timely now as ever.” – The Georgia Straight